AHSAA Indoor Track Week 3 Spotlight MONTGOMERY – With the Alabama High School Athletic Association Indoor Track Championships just two weeks away, high school runners in the state are rounding into state finals shape. Jace Jones of Alabaster’s Thompson High School notched three personal bests this week, including the No. 1 high school time recorded in the United States this year in the 1600 meters to earn the AHSAA Indoor Track & Field Spotlight this week. The senior raced to a 4:13.89 finish at the Hump Day Octameet at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Jan. 15 – just 69-hundreths off the 1600 course record set in 2016 by Frank Pittman running for the Marist School of Brookhaven, Ga. Jones’ 1:57.73 second-place finish to Scottsboro’s Rex Green (1:56.71) in the 800-meter run that same day was also a personal record as was his 9:23.44 victory in the 3200 meters in the Martin Luther King Indoor Track Classic on Jan. 20. Jones, who has committed to the University of Alabama, ranks third in the state and 23rd in the nation in the 800. Coach Christopher Schmidt ’s Thompson boys’ team won the Octameet with 117 points, ahead of Hewitt-Trussville (80) and Homewood (69.5), and his girls’ squad finished second to Homewood (103) with 87.5 points. The prestigious MLK Classic, hosted Jan. 20 by the Alabama Indoor Track Association at the CrossPlex in Birmingham, drew 155 teams from Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. The Hoover boys finished first in the meet with 118 points, followed by Thompson (56), Northridge (47), Randolph School (42) and Central of Phenix City (36.5). The Hoover girls also recorded a first-place finish in the MLK with 86 points, followed by Campbell of Smyrna, Ga., with 56, Saint James (53), Thompson (40) and Jasper (38). Other standout performances reported from the week: BOYS JEKOVAN RHETTA, PARKER: The junior’s personal-best 6.81 in the 60-meter dash in the Class 1A-5A division of the MLK is a new meet record, the top time in Alabama this year and fifth best in the country. The old mark (6.86) was set by Winfield’s Trey Cunningham at the 2017 MLK. Rhetta was also fourth in the 400 with a 51.05. L.J. HILL, HOOVER: The senior’s 8.17-second first-place sprint in the 60-meter hurdles in the MLK Classic 6A-7A division is the top overall time in the event in the state this year. J’MARRI McCALL, HOOVER: Another senior, McCall had a personal best 6.92 finish in the 60-meter dash in the MLK. He also won the long jump with a leap of 22-05.5 to top teammate Hill (22-04.25). ETHAN STRAND, VESTAVIA HILLS: The junior’s 4:17.92 was a personal best in the 1600 meters, good for first place at the MLK and was one of the best times in the nation. ZION BINION, NORTHRIDGE: His 54-5 toss to win the shot put at the MLK was a personal best. KELVIN POE, HUFFMAN: The senior won the 400 meters with a 50.38 finish, 48-hundreths ahead of Thompson’s Dominique Hall . DESHUN MURRELL, BIBB COUNTY: Another junior, Murrell won the MLK 400 with a 50.35 finish, a personal best. He also won the event on Jan. 14 with a 50.81 at the High School JV Meet No. 3 at the CrossPlex. COLLIN MAYFIELD, GERALDINE: Ran away with the 1A-5A 3200-meter run with a personal best 9:43.02. No other runner broke 10 minutes in the event. GIRLS OLIVIA BEARD, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Her personal-best 5-6 high jump won the 6A-7A finals at the MLK, which tied the meet record set by former St. Paul’s high jumper Shelley Spires in 2013. Beard had another PR, 16-5.25 in the long jump, was good for fifth. PRESLEY MILES, SAINT JAMES: Won the girls’ 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter runs at the MLK, with 2:16.70, 5:05.50 and 11:29.49 finishes, respectively. ALEX COOK, BAYSIDE ACADEMY: With a personal best 11-06 pole vault at the MLK, the senior now has three first-place finishes in the event this season. She also won the Ice Breaker Invitational on Jan. 3 and the Magic City Invitational in December. RIONNA JOHNSON, FAIRFIELD: Set a personal best mark with a first-place finish in the 1A-5A long jump with a leap of 16-04.25. The sophomore also had PRs in the 60-meter dash (8.24, 15th) and 400 (1:02.6, 8th). ZaKIRIA HOLIFIELD, THOMPSON: Won the 6A-7A 60-meter dash with a 7.75 finish, just .01 off her personal best, and was second in the 400 meters with a personal best 57.28. She won both the 400 (57.54) and 60 (7.86) in the Hump Day Octameet. |L AINEY PHELPS, HOMEWOOD: Won the 800 and 1600 at the Octameet, with 2:17.78 and 5:03.41 finishes. Her 1600 time is the best in Alabama this year and seventh nationally.